Car Accidents: Proving Fault

by Tim O’Hare

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Perhaps the most important element of your personal injury case if you are injured in a car accident is proving fault—or negligence—of the other driver. Your argument with an insurance company is largely based on your ability to prove that their insured (the other driver) broke a law or engaged in behavior that falls below the ordinary standard of care that caused the accident.

Supporting your claim with official reports and documents can strengthen your argument. Some means of “support” for your claim include:

Police reports — If the police came to the scene of the accident, they may have done an official written report about the accident. Usually the accident report includes the responding officer’s opinion of who was at fault or who may have violated a traffic law that caused the accident. If a traffic citation was issued to either driver, this will also be included in the police report. You may request a copy of the police report from the police department who responded at the scene.

“No-Doubt” Liability — There is really no such thing in Texas. Many people believe a rear-end collision is guaranteed liability against the driver who rear-ended the other vehicle. This is inaccurate, although an overwhelming majority of the time, this is the case—it just isn’t the law.

Traffic laws — Each state has statutes and traffic laws, or rules of the road. Some examples include speed limits and right of way. You can support your claim that the other driver was indeed at fault if it can be proven that the other driver broke one of these traffic laws.

In any case, proving fault can be difficult and requires knowledge of the laws in your state. Rather than try to prove fault on your own, if you are injured you should work with a trusted personal injury lawyer who has the experience and knowledge needed to help prove fault in an accident, and can help you win your case.

If you have been injured or lost a loved one as a result of a car accident, contact The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare for a free consultation with a Dallas personal injury attorney.

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